His words find echo in Muslim fears
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Ex-IFS officer and MP Syed Shahabuddin called Minister for Minority Affairs A R Antulay this morning to congratulate him for "saying the unspeakable."
Do you think Antulay was right in his remarks over Karkare's death? 90% say yes in an online poll by Siasat, the English-language website of India's second largest Urdu newspaper.
Mujatba Farooque, political secretary, Jamaat-e-Islami-e-Hind: "Is Karkare Osama that he cannot be praised? He was on the verge of investigating some very powerful people. He got death threats, what's wrong if one asks for this to be probed?"
As with most other issues, Muslim opinion on Antulay's remarks isn't a monolith. Lyricist Javed Akhtar's Mumbai-based Muslims for Secular Democracy, for example, has urged Antulay to resign immediately calling his remarks "reckless," giving credence to "ridiculous nonsense."
But clearly, Antulay's questioning of Karkare's death finds an echo in large sections of the Muslim community — from opinion leaders to Urdu press, including Munsif, the largest Urdu newspaper, Siasat, Inquilab and Urdu Times — all raising similar questions.
The reasons aren't hard to find.
While few in the Muslim community dispute the fact that terrorists from Pakistan carried out the Mumbai attacks, their question mark over Karkare's death seems to have more to do with what the former ATS chief had come to symbolise for Muslims than the events of the night of November 26.
Central Information Commissioner Wajahat Habibullah best explains this apparent contradiction. He says that as Karkare died in full public view, it's wrong to think of his perpetrators being different from those who attacked Mumbai that day.
So why do Antulay's remarks find a resonance in many Muslims?
"Generally, Muslims have very little faith in police investigations and their claims. So they feel that anybody who stands up for them is susceptible," says Habibullah.
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